Lost Histories is looking for a documentary film producer/sponsor to help finance a film about Goddess. I recently come across a beautiful group of ladies who form part of the Sister of Avalon. A goddess movement group in Bristol who are the devotee of Aine. Lost Histories instentively know this would make an excellant documentary.
What is a goddess movement?
The goddess movement, a collective term for neo-religious environments and movements that relate to one or more goddesses. The goddesses can be taken from Norse, Celtic, Roman, Greek or other religions, and it is not uncommon to see the various goddesses as forms of appearance of one goddess, often identified as Gaia or Mother Earth.
The goddess or goddesses can be understood as entities, but also as a form of archetypes. Most who participate in the Goddess Movement are women who experience that their identity as women is strengthened and nuanced when they invoke, visualise or read about the Goddesses.
The goddess movement is similar to Wicca and both a form of Neopaganism. The two have much in common. The boundary between them is fluid, but in the goddess movement, one is less concerned with sexual polarity, one has no degree system, and one is more present than Wicca in public space.
The goddess movement is not a uniform or organised movement, but rather an impulse that, among other things, is part of the Alternative Movement or New Age.
Among the historical preconditions for today’s goddess movement are scholars such as Marija Gimbutas, who, with the help of archaeological and other sources, found that in ancient times there were matriarchs, i.e. cultures ruled by women and not men, where goddesses were more important than gods.
This can, therefore, be seen as a form of historically oriented religious feminism. Much of feminist antiquity research is today discredited, as ideological claims (for example, that ancient matriarchates did not know of war) were published to be research-based.
The movement has stood behind and dominated major demonstrations for environmental protection and warfare (e.g. the 1980s Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp outside the Greenham Common military airbase, used by both US and British Air Force).
The Fellowship of Isis
In Ireland, the Goddess movement is particularly visible through The Fellowship of Isis, an online community of members around the world.
In the United States, the Goddess movement can be associated with theologians and writers such as Carol Christ and Mary Daly (East Coast), while the West Coast movement is more strongly characterised by activism.
When the earth is a goddess, politics and religion are two sides of the same issue. Hungarian-American Zsuzsanna Budapest has been particularly influential. She established a feminist witch group in Los Angeles in 1971, with elements from both Wicca, goddess movement, political activism and another. Another central person is Starhawk, who also represents a form of feminist and political Wicca focusing on the goddess.
Starhawk belongs to the San Francisco-based community Reclaiming, which includes arranges public rituals and workshops where one of the goals is to unite spirit and politics. Norwegian theologian Jone Salomonsen has worked closely with Starhawk and Reclaiming.
Publisher for further reading
Mary Daly: When God Was a Woman (1978).
Carol Christ: Why Women Need the Goddess (1978) and Rebirth of the Goddess (1998)
Budapest: The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries(1978)
Starhawk: The Spiral Dance (1979)
Jone Solomon: When God Becomes a Woman; among witches, savages and shamans in the United States (1991) and Enchanted Feminism; Ritual, Gender and Divinity among the Reclaiming Witches of San Francisco (2002)
Knut A. Jacobsen: Tribute to the Goddess; vision and worship of the Great Goddess of Hinduism (2007). This book sees the new religious goddess movement in contrast to pre-modern goddess worship as it appears in Hinduism.